Rather than try to explain the intricacies of the current political climate, which would have me tearing my hair out, I would like to put up a few pictures for history’s sake.
First, this picture of Nancy Pelosi upbraiding Donald Trump at a White House meeting needs to be committed to art adorning a wall somewhere on Capitol Hill:
President Fuckballs thinks this picture made Pelosi look bad. But every time I look at it, I find myself more interested in the crestfallen leaders on Trump’s side of the table-and that’s how I know who got embarrassed at this meeting.
Then there is the matter of taking note of Trump’s true mental state. Sure, there’s been no bottom yet as to how stupid and childish this 73-going-on-eight human can actually be, but I think this letter full of juvenile sewage to the President of Turkey should serve as a mile marker on this highway to hell we are on.
There’s so much to unpack here, but I’ll leave that to more clever pundits. Just gazing at it as a whole is a streak-free window into how arrested the development of Donald Trump unabashedly is.
Anyway, as for me, I’m still eating news with a fork and knife. I’ve been a bit quiet, which one might think weird given that we are finally, probably watching the destruction of Donald Trump. He’s in more trouble than he thinks, and at this point I don’t see an endgame that doesn’t involve at least his impeachment. True, getting your hopes up since November 8, 2016 has proven to be foolish at a lot of junctures. We lost an election we technically won. Robert Mueller’s report was doomed to fail. And in the near future, something settled and litigated like abortion might be criminalized any day now because Trump got two SCOTUS picks and if Ruth Ginsburg doesn’t do her pushups, he may get three. Those of you who actually know what is going on understands that his presidency heretofore and currently has been a nuclear-sized shitbomb, with fallout raining on our heads every damn day.
So, a few things and I will go quiet again. Maybe not for long, these things are hard to predict.
As shown above, Trump may be the village idiot, but he can be rather canny at times, especially when it becomes a question of his survival. I’m convinced that one of his tactics to that effect is to make it hard to concentrate on what he does. While we are staring agape at the latest obstruction of justice-flavored tweet, pointing wildly to the Democrats in House Intel or anyfuckingbody who’ll listen, he loads the bullshit cannon over and over again in the hopes that no one can keep up with the sheer volume of lies, offenses, garbage, distortion, propaganda and self aggrandizement. This way, the investigations get slowed down, the pro-Trump flying monkeys lie and dissemble on TV about what they’re lying about and for those of us in the audience with a moral compass, we are given to hopelessness and disempowerment because we are watching him ostensibly getting away with nonstop criminal behavior.
It’s an interesting, if exhausting high-wire act to watch, and if Trump is getting juice out of being too slippery to be caught, I’ll give him props for boldness. I’ve certainly never seen a con this big in my life. However, I really think there’s a there there in the Ukraine quagmire scandal, which is metastasizing daily. If investigators can focus on it, he’s going to either resign or lose the 2020 election, both satisfactory conclusions for me. I’m not going to call for a frog march-villains the size of the president always get away. Think about it- Ford pardoned Nixon before he was consumed with an indictment, Reagan played too senile to understand what Ollie North was doing in the White House basement and somehow managed to get his veep, who was implicated in Iran-Contra elected to boot. No one cares anymore that Clinton lied to a grand jury to hide his peccadilloes, no one significant went to jail over the second invasion of Iraq and all its attendant malfeasance (unless you count Scooter Libby) . And I have no doubt that presidents of antiquity were equally up to their wigs in skulduggery and skated from culpability. It’s a shame that politics attracts such dishonest people, and I guess the only good thing that can be said is that there will never be an entity quite like President Trump occupying 1600 Pennsylvania again. They broke the mold when that piece of…work was created.
One last picture:
Goodnight, Representative Cummings. Things on the hill have gotten a bit darker with your passage.
By early afternoon Howe felt he had enough men to launch his assault. As the British forces began their advance, the cannonade from Copp’s Hill and British warships ceased. In line formation, the two wings had to negotiate fences and other obstacles as they slowly neared the Provincial line. The men from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire were ordered to hold their fire until the enemy drew so close that their musket fire would have its most devastating effect. It was at this time, legend claims, that one of the commanding officers from the colonies ordered: “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!“
The musket fire proved devastating when the advancing British came into range.
I think I can speak for my generation when I say that none of us will ever forget the story of The Battle Of Bunker Hill largely because of General Prescott’s famous (and perhaps apocryphal) command.
I also remember being taught that the colonists ran out of shot and had to use whatever they could as a projectile. Nails. Concrete. They fixed bayonets. It was quite a tableau for my impressionable head.
In the end, they had to retreat. But not before we gave the Redcoats a wicked bloody nose. They paid more than we did to take the high ground.
There is no parallel in history that comes to mind more trenchantly than that Revolutionary War battle and where we are at on an impeachment of Donald Trump.
This will be the second time that I’ve given Nancy Pelosi the benefit of the doubt regarding the matter. But the fact is that she is under an extreme amount of pressure. She has to satiate and continue to captivate the angry voters who have seen enough and need impeachment as a balm, and also protect vulnerable blue dogs in key states who cannot call for impeachment if they want to keep their jobs.
The American electorate is fickle; and our politicians have to try to placate a majority of their voters so they can stay in office. I’m pretty far left, but I think I understand and appreciate that this is a delicate balancing maneuver that the Speaker and the Democratic establishment are attempting.
I’ll just say it again for those of you in the cheap seats: impeachment can’t come yet. It’s certainly not for lack of crimes committed by this administration. It is about numbers and timing. It isn’t about Pelosi’s choice at all, and I don’t think she is stringing us along. It would be an enormous and inadvisable gamble to presume that Democrats will go to the polls no matter how much our concerns are ignored because the alternative sucks way more. The Speaker gets that we’re mad and impatient and if she and Democratic leadership learned anything at all from 2016, it’s that significant numbers of lefties (some of who are party faithful) will cut off their noses happily and withhold enough votes that will send the Democrats back to the woods to figure out how they blew an easy election.
No thank you.
So: let’s talk numbers. Since last tally, 70 representatives were ready to vote for impeachment, 69 of which were Democratic. We needed more than three times that to gain the majority on the question of impeachment. That was June.
As of this writing, that number has grown to 164 Democrats (and Justin Amash). Doing the math, that leaves 54 representatives that need to sign on to notch a simple majority that would pass articles. It’s a majority of Democrats, yes- but QED, those are not the numbers the Speaker needs to launch a successful campaign to impeach. With any luck, it won’t take much longer for the number of YEAS to increase significantly.
Second of all, Nancy only gets one shot at this- so she needs to use a great deal of breath control to bag Trump and all the pieces of shit that abetted his crime spree. The ideal time to drop a bomb on Trump is during the campaign season while he tries to con enough people to vote for his dumb ass again. Making next year difficult, painful and utterly deleterious would be a great play, even if the effort is destined to die in a complicit GOP-controlled Senate.
Let me take this moment as I have in the past to remind you that the best way to get to impeachment is to annoy your representatives to vote yes on the matter. Going on Twitter to scream for Pelosi’s head because she won’t support a measure that would die on the House floor is stupid.
This is our Bunker Hill. We can’t take our shot until it’s the right time. We won’t win in the end. But we will bleed the bastards enough, hopefully enough to tilt what is going to be a contentious process definitively in our favor when the war ends in November 2020.
UPDATE Sep 24: As of 1:55 today, the number of YEAS is now 170. Votes are beginning to cascade in as this strange Ukraine story spreads like a wildfire! Nancy may say the I word a hell of a lot quicker than I calculated…
UPDATE Sep 24: At 5pm, Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the House will be conducting an impeachment inquiry, rendering this post more full of shit than it already was. Now. Now it begins.
Sometimes those things couldn’t look less alike. They should, but that’s not how shit works.
Perhaps it is a question of semantics, the differences between these concepts. Doing “Right Things” in a broad sense could be considered a strategy, a long term vision. They are consistent and delineated. Smart Things, on the other hand, could be thought of as tactics-and those can have a very grey, even black character to them. Because we still have mortal opponents in this wicked world, we still have to fight and sometimes we have to fight fucked up, in a way that doesn’t always immediately make sense. I doubt that any chess game played on a high level has ever been won without a sacrifice, the offer of sacrifice, or the purposeful exposure of pieces to capture.
Of course, I could be completely full of it and I’m just straining for a preface. I’m trying to do something difficult, which is to try and defend Nancy Pelosi’s decision (and it is a decision, not dithering) not to impeach Trump for a list of articles that would make the Mueller report look like Goodnight Moon both in length and breadth of subject matter.
Nancy has two very important jobs, one major and one minor. As the most powerful Democrat not in the White House, she has to A) secure the passage of the legislative priorities of her voters (or as is unfortunately the case in Citzens v. United land, her donors) and B) help unelect the fuck out of some Republicans. That’s a lot to put on anyone’s plate, but she’s doing a pretty good job on both fronts. Republicans might be helping her with B).
Nancy is in also in Donald Trump’s head. Big time.
She doesn’t have to say much to send him to the royal shitter for a 4:30AM ragetweet reprisal when she says disgraceful, disgusting things about Trumplethinskin. It’s fun to watch, but of course, lefty voters want more. At the time of this writing, sixty-nine Democrats and lone GOP rep Justin Amash (donate here) have committed to signing on to drafting articles of impeachment. Now, if we do a little simple math, that is 16% of the House and less than 30% of Democrats. Yet everyone in my tribe is dumping on Nancy Pelosi because she won’t support impeachment right now. Her own people don’t, so why would she drag them into a process that could make them unpopular at home? Who’s to say she could even get them passed?
The best my tribe could do is write their reps to get on the impeachment train instead of slagging Speaker Pelosi on Twitter. Have we not learned yet that change comes from the bottom? Dangle some dollars over their head. That tends to get their attention.
Donald Trump is obviously guilty of manifold offenses that are impeachable. Nancy’s not dumb, she knows- and she is not holding the line on his stupid assed behalf. She may be sacrificing our need for progress and justice right now while she waits for impeachment clouds to darken further, for more House Democrats to sign on.
The other thing I think Nancy is waiting for is the general election season. What better time to throw the impeachment stinkbomb and snarl him in investigations and scandal while he’s barnstorming, interviewing, and debating? It could be the thing that implodes Trump 2020. Timed right, it could be a monumentally powerful card to play.
Bottom line: you all know Nancy didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. Give her a break and give your wayward reps an earful instead.
I’m probably going to get this one wrong, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that it’s almost time to write the coda to the Trump fiasco.
She’s a proponent of the notion that Trump is applying chaos principles he used in business to the governance of the nation. All of you no-neck dumbfucks out there who thought it’d be a great idea if a businessman took over the operation should be forced to wear sandwich boards saying “HELP, I NEED CIVICS LESSONS”. But anyway, I demur from Haberman’s thesis. If you ask me, it’s more like this:
It’s going to take a lot for me to admit that our clown prince has any methods or any theories at all-not even chaos. For me, you can boil everything he does down to one thing, which is, will I be liked for what I am dong? All decisions stem from this peculiar, immediate, pathological need. So it looks a lot like a chaos strategy because none of it makes any sense if you aren’t thinking about Trump’s deep seated developmental disorder.
In any case, Maggie’s compiled a nice list of Jenga pieces that have been pulled. There’s been a LOT this week. Trump’s imposing tariffs on imported metals. It seems that one of Donald’s endgames is to build more than one wall. Whether we realize it or not we are going to spiral into a sort of soft fascism by believing that we can sustain our way of living without any outside help. Sound familiar? Yep. North Korea. Their existence is totally predicated upon a similar stubborn self reliance, and it’s plainly obvious how Orange Caligula’s ideas are analogous. America First. Make America Great. Combine this hypernationalism with the cult of personality that 35% of the country believes in, you have a recipe for a country on permanent alert and lockdown, full of people who are armed, fearful and angry. We’ve been working at this since 2001 but now the process is speeding like a bullet train. But anyway, prices are going to go up as a result of punitive tariffs, and the stock market is going to get the jitters too-especially if the Fed raises rates.
Then there’s the disappearing of Hope Hicks, Trump’s whisperer. Hicks allegedly told a few “white lies” to investigators and might have put herself in legal jeopardy. Without Hicks, Trump is reduced to watching “Fox And Friends” to get the positive feedback he desperately needs. And John Kelly is wringing out the nepotism, patronage, and corruption in the White House by pulling all the ridiculous interim security clearances that Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and many of the staffers have enjoyed in order to view sensitive information. Kelly may be a tool, but he’s a professional tool. And the misadministration seems allergic to professionalism, perhaps because Trump needs to feel like he’s the smartest man in the room. But it’s going to be awfully quiet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, because his national security advisor is also jumping ship.
Because Trump cannot be ever said to be firmly “on the reservation”, it’s not news that he isn’t. He’s got the ammosexuals in straitjacket fits by seeming to want to take people’s guns without due process, and for once, correctly calling out the cowardice of legislators when it comes to bucking the NRA. But, as my perspicacious friend always says, he’s all hat and no cattle. Haberman notes this typical backtracking. For all his talk, Trump’s kind of a little bitch when it comes to an actual fight. He steadfastly refuses to plant a flag anywhere, because that might require commitment and sustained attention, two things which he is short on.
A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
Yesterday, it seemed like the end for the struggle to preserve benefits, protections and entitlements for millions of people across the country was imminent. The GOP looked unified enough to pull it off and take it all, desperate for some sort of victory no matter how Pyrrhic it would be once regular people felt the bite. They were ready to commit massive legislative arson just so they could please their wealthy donors in this cussed Citizens United era.
There was a snag last night when deficit hawks had reservations, but we’re all still on the hook at the moment. We might be losing the light yet.
But fuck all that. I know it’s important, but hang on.
Robert Mueller pulled another string.
As they say in chess: Check.
And it looks like an ugly check, a nasty, sickening game-fucking fork that will cost King Dipshit his protective pieces, and when that happens, it’s only a matter of time before white chases him around the board where no space is safe.
I knew something was up yesterday. Trump is erratic at best on normal days, so it’s hard to read anything into his behavior. But he went berserk this week. It started with “honoring” Native American veterans in front of a portrait of the asshole who signed the Indian Removal Act, and like the 6 year old imp that he is, he proceeded to take a bizarre shot at Elizabeth Warren (as if to say “While I’m on the subject of Indians…“), a shot that no doubt confused the honorees and eventually pissed off much of the Native American community. He accused Joe Scarborough of murder, mused as to whether the pussy grabbing recording was real, told people in private that he still isn’t sure about Barack Obama’s birthplace, dribbled something about a fake news contest, dragged NFL players, CNN, The New York Times, I mean he whipped out all the greatest hits and made up some new ones. And then yesterday, he’s out there retweeting British anti-Islamic/white supremacist material, material that was without basis in reality. Now since Trump has been in office, he has NEVER taken responsibility or apologized for anything he has said or done and that did not change here. Sarah Sanders dutifully put on her ever increasing volume of warpaint (perhaps to unnerve the press corps) and basically said Trump is right, even when his proof is wrong. Oy vey.
All of it made my spidey senses tingle. I’ve never been fond of the notion that this twat of a president has any clue what he is doing. So many pixels have been wasted positing that Trump is a master of distraction. But the sum total of his miscues and outbursts this week suggested to me that his nerves were frayed about something. There may or may not be a little bird who has seen Mueller’s flop cards whispering in Humperdoo’s ear. This may be causing a bit of mania and rightfully, paranoia. Again, the things he does, says and types unintentionally muddies the water. Put simply, the dude is spazzing out. And the level of spaz might be a hint that trouble is coming…coming for him.
We may yet lose this country, what’s left of it for us normal folks anyway. But Justice, a severe and merciless bitch of a goddess, will not be denied her sacrifice. Maybe we will come out the other side of this caring more about each other after having been lied to and treated so badly by our putative leaders. My hopes are chastened, though. It only took five short years after Nixon left town in disgrace to bring us to Ronald Reagan’s senile reign of error.
We don’t learn from our mistakes here in America. We repeat them, with pride. But for now, let’s celebrate that our modern Caligula, this mad hatter of a misbegotten president is going down soon, hopefully taking his conspirators with him.